Back in the old days when the refrigerator was just in the drawing boards, people dehydrated foods so that they have a longer shelf life and they do not rot or spoil. Food dehydration is the process where food is drained of water. On most foods the water content is very high, so dehydrating them will prevent bacteria from building up and eventually spoiling the food. These days when the refrigerator prevents food from spoiling so easily, the food dehydrator is still used, to make trail mixes of fruits and vegetables and to make jerkies out of beef. The Sweda Food Dehydrator is one brand that you can use at home. Read on to learn more about how to use it.
- Prepare the foods to be dehydrated. Group them according to their kinds: fruits, vegetables and meat. Slice them thinly so the dehydration process will be fast and easy. You will need to do this by batch. Remember: do not dehydrate fruits and meat at the same time as they require different temperatures.
- Clean the food dehydrator. Wash it with cold tap water to get rid of any dirt or dust that it may have accumulated while in storage. Wipe dry with a clean dry cloth. Place the food slices on the trays. Space them out evenly on the trays and do not stack them on top of one another. Chances are the ones in the middle of the stack will not be dehydrated properly. Line them up on the trays so each food slice will receive equal amounts of heat. Cover the food dehydrator and you are ready to go.
- Cook the meat first. If you are making beef jerky, it is very important to cook the beef prior to dehydrating it and not after. When the beef or any kind of meat has been dehydrated and you will cook it afterwards, more bacteria will grow in it as they become heat resistant after the mat has been dehydrated.
- Turn on the dehydrator. Once you have placed the food items on it, you have to set the temperature just right to avoid over- or under-dehydrating the food. Usually for fruits and vegetables, the right drying temperature is 135 degrees Fahrenheit. For meats, it is around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the time that you will have to dehydrate the food. Times may differ depending on the type of food being dehydrated. Adjust the vents at the top of the dehydrator.
- Take out the food. When the time is up, turn off the dehydrator and open the lid. You may need to let the food cool down first before handling it. Take an airtight container where you will be storing the dehydrated food. Label each container to avoid confusion. Wash the appliance and dry it before storing.
During the old times, people improvised food dehydrators to use on their
foods. As technology progresses, food dehydrators have become
convenient and easy to use. When using one, take note of the different
temperature requirements for each kind of food so you will no longer
guess the right temperature in the future. Take proper care of your food
dehydrator by consulting the owner’s manual for care instructions. With
proper use and storage, your Sweda Food Dehydrator will serve you for a